But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master.
— First Samuel 25:10
After dwelling in En Gedi, David went to the wilderness of Paran, which was far to the south. Here, David had his men protect the flocks of a man named Nabal, whose name means “fool” (Strong). Under their watchful care, Nabal had not lost any sheep. When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep in Carmel, he sent some of his young men to ask him for supplies, reminding him that they had protected his flocks (1 Sam. 25:2–9).
Nabal responded carelessly and insulted David, calling him just another servant who had broken away from his master. Nabal was so foolish that he did not anticipate the consequences this kind of talk would have. When David heard Nabal’s response, he set out for Carmel with 400 armed men to slay him (vv. 10–13).
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, pages 78-79.
Tomorrow: “Abagail’s Supplication” (1)